Macaque Labs

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Macacque Labs - A non-profit foundation for research in Advanced Computing

Macaque Labs is a non-profit research foundation, founded with the goal of fostering research in advanced and applied computing in India. The founder, G S Madhusudan felt that there is a paucity of such research in India as evident from the minimal contribution from India in the areas of Computer Architecture, Secure Systems Engineering, Storage Systems and Interconnects. While academic research has progressed to a degree, applied research and open source projects are notably absent.

The foundation is named after the Bonnet Macaque monkeys at IIT-Madras, whose attitude towards life is inspirational to open source projects !

Current projects being incubated are the Lightstor storage project and the Sentinel security Architecture project.

Lightstor

Project website - lightstor.org

LightStor is a unified optical interconnect for storage, networking and compute clusters. It leverages silicon photonics and the RapidIO standard. With 25Gbps per lane, per port speeds will approach 400 Gbps, port aggregation will allow terabit + speeds.

The storage component of LightStor is aimed at SSD arrays and at the lower levels is analogous to the NVMExpress standard. But it also aims at providing a complete storage stack including features like persistent storage, object storage and HSM. These will follow the proposed SNIA NVM specification. The Lightstor standard is completey open. All source and HW design files will be released under the 4.3 BSD 3 part license. Macaque labs in keeping with its philosophy will not apply for any patents on its work. Lightsor leverages the LightNVM stack for the host side kernel stack.

Sentinel

Sentinel is a project aimed at a holistic design of secure computing systems. This requires a clean slate design of the operating system, CPU and the systems language. But even in a clean slate design, existing paradigms of functional partitioning between these three key components do not suffice since these paradigms have evolved in functional silos.

Sentinel aims to establish new paradigms of secure system design using co-design principles and validate these paradigms using a test-bed comprising of a capability based micro-kernel Operating System and Tagged Instruction Set based CPU architecture. A key supplemental goal is to investigate very fine grained security paradigms as opposed to coarse Multics style security levels currently prevalent.

Information Flow analysis techniques will also be investigated, as will also language enhancements required to achieve usable IFA techniques. We also intend to implement an access control logic that is capable of performing information flow analysis based on the cross-layer information provided by the OS and applications, thereby ensuring complete mediation.

The above goals necessarily narrow the design space for CPU architectures. Since security at the HW level is proposed to be achieved by Tagged ISA techniques and formal verification of the HW is a primary goal, the project will focus on Virtual cache based CPU architectures with the OS being built around Single Address Space concepts. Elimination of an MMU makes formal verification significantly easier.

Formal verification will be done using the CoQ and EventB systems and a variant of Rust will be used for language research. HW design will be done using the Bluespeca and Chisel HDLs.

Contacts

For more information please send email to info@macaque.in

GS Madhusudan - www.linkedin.com/in/gsmadhusudan

Copyright G S Madhusudan